Louis Storey's late own goal earned us a deserved share of the spoils as our pressure eventually told at the International Stadium.
The defender was unfortunate to turn Aaron Nemane's cross into his own net with two minutes of normal time remaining, cancelling out Tom Allan's strike after he had capitalised on Kyle Cameron's underhit backpass.
Luke Williams made three changes to the side that drew at Boreham Wood three days prior.
Aden Baldwin was substituted with an Achilles problem in that match and the man who replaced him, Geraldo Bajrami, was given the nod to start in his place on Tyneside.
Sam Austin and Joel Taylor also made way, dropping on to the bench as Aaron Nemane and Matt Palmer came in for their first starts of the season.
The opening shot of the game went to us when Macaulay Langstaff’s heels were clipped on his way towards goal. Ed Francis’ 20-yard free-kick was comfortably held by James Montgomery.
Four minutes later the hosts should have been ahead when former Magpie Adam Campbell robbed Ed Francis of possession to go through on goal. He tried to lob the onrushing Sam Slocombe who stood firm to block with his chest. The rebound fell for a Gateshead man inside the area but Bajrami did well to divert his shot just wide.
We responded with two blocked shots of our own as Palmer did brilliantly to supply Langstaff minutes before Nemane crossed low for Ruben Rodrigues.
As half-time neared, Rodrigues whistled a shot wide following a speedy counter-attack led by Nemane and Palmer saw his goalbound corner well pushed over by Montgomery.
And, inside three minutes of injury time, we were cursing Montgomery again as he did well to push Langstaff’s diving header wide following Rodrigues’ excellent cross.
That proved to be the last action of note in a feisty first half which saw Jim O’Brien and Richard Brindley booked for lunging challenges, with Tom Allan, Greg Olley and Campbell seeing yellow for the hosts – the latter for a late challenge on Cameron.
And Cameron was heavily involved straight after the break as his poor backpass released Alan through on goal to fire past an almost-helpless Slocombe.
It was the nightmare start to the half but we soon set about trying to restore parity, Rodrigues knocking the ball round the corner for Langstaff only for Montgomery to just beat him to the ball.
Shortly after the hour, Adam Chicksen’s excellent cross flew beyond a defender but Langstaff couldn’t adjust his body in time to get his header on target.
It was all us but we were struggling to create clear-cut chances, with substitute Kairo Mitchell being picked out by Palmer’s cross but being unable to head the ball on target.
Four minutes later, Nemane brilliantly scampered along the byline but Montgomery stood firm at his near post to block his shot.
Other than the goal, the hosts had barely threatened in the second half but they fired a warning shot on 77 minutes when Campbell’s long-range effort whistled a yard or so over the bar.
A minute later, a mix-up in the hosts’ defence saw the ball drop for Mitchell with Montgomery off his line. The forward opted to take his shot early on the bounce and sent the ball narrowly wide.
And, after Palmer sent a 25-yard effort well wide and a Heed defender produced a heroic block to keep substitute Frank Vincent’s shot out, it looked like it wasn’t going to be our night.
But, with two minutes of normal time remaining, we finally had our goal as the lively Nemane saw his cross turned home by Storey.
We were given four additional minutes to find a winner in front of a magnificent following of 598.
But we were unable to turn the key once more as we once again had to settle for a point.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Bajrami, Brindley; Chicksen, Nemane; Francis (Mitchell 63'), Palmer, O'Brien (Vincent 81'), Rodrigues; Langstaff (Scott 76')
UNUSED SUBS: Taylor, Austin
BOOKINGS: O'Brien (30'), Brindley (44')
ATTENDANCE: 1,825 (598)